It was just over a year ago now that my husband and I cut our long-term overseas mission plans short to move back home to Southern California. We had nothing but a vague notion that God wanted to use us in our hometown.
I remember dreading the question that people always asked, “What are you up to now?” The truth was, I had no idea what the next year would hold. My starting point was nothing but a few contacts that I found online of women who started an anti-human trafficking coalition in my hometown.
I remember feeling so silly as I started writing e-mails… “Hi, my name is Britney and I’m serving as a missionary overseas with women enslaved to human trafficking. But I’m moving back home and I would love to get involved with what you are doing.” I mean, how far could those blind e-mails really lead me?
I think deep down, those of us with an adventurous spirit sort of hope God will call us to take some grand leap of faith.
After all, people celebrate grand leaps of faith. Grand leaps seem impressive; suddenly everyone thinks you are the most fascinating person on the planet. People hardly notice when you take just one step at a time.
But real life is full of little, blind steps forward as God reveals one tiny detail at a time.
Looking back a year later, I am completely in awe of all that God has done as I stepped out in faith and just took it one small step at a time. Those e-mails I sent led me to over 60 hours of training on human trafficking and the effects of trauma and opened up a world of opportunity for me.
Over this past year, I have been able to reach young girls in group homes, juvenile facilities, hospitals and strip clubs. I’ve gotten to lead a bible study for young survivors, pray for them as some run back to their old way of life, and celebrate with them as they return. I’ve met with underage girls in the Juvenile facilities who weren’t even aware that being trafficked makes them a victim, not a criminal. I’ve been able to share my love of music as I teach some of the young girls I mentor how to play guitar or piano and watch as they find a confidence they have never had before. I’ve sat in blacked out cop cars with girls as they have had to identify their traffickers only hours after escaping. I’ve showed up unannounced to girl’s homes with nothing but a bag of fast food and a prayer that they might want to talk to someone. I’ve bribed bouncers with homemade cookies and walked through the front doors of strip clubs to bring gifts to the girls who are working. And despite the weightiness of the situations I have encountered, I have absolutely loved every minute of it.
It’s hard to believe that none of this would have happened if I hadn’t given up the huge leap of faith we took when we moved our entire life overseas.
I could have clung to the glory of that leap and kept serving overseas. But God was calling me to do something different. He called me to send an e-mail, invest some time in training and then he allowed me to join the most amazing ministry I’ve ever been a part of, a mere ten minutes from my house.
Just because God doesn’t call you to leap, doesn’t mean he won’t do incredible things in and through you.
If God isn’t calling you somewhere else, be faithful right where you are.
Be faithful to take the small steps and then stand in awe of where a thousand little steps may take you.